Almost all sports pose a danger to the eyes, resulting in around 40,000 injuries every year, many of which cause permanent damage and even blindness. However, more than 90 percent of injuries could be preventable with proper eye protection. Unfortunately, most sports leagues and teams do not require children to use any eye protection, including some of the riskiest sports, like baseball, where a pitched ball can be moving up to 70 miles per hour, explains Emory Healthcare.
To encourage people to protect their eyes when playing sports, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has named April Sports Eye Safety Month. Here are a few steps you can take to keep your kids’ eyes safe, named by Eye Smart.
Protecting Your Kids’ Eyes During High-Risk Sports
- Sports that lead to the highest number of eye injuries include baseball, basketball, and racquet sports. Make sure your children always use shatterproof eye protection when participating in these games.
- For baseball, ice hockey, and lacrosse, kids should wear a face mask made from a lightweight plastic or a wire shield beneath a helmet. Hockey masks should meet either the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements.
- Boxing and full-contact martial arts are two more very high-risk sports that can cause serious eye injuries. Choose eye protection that is appropriate to the regulations of your child’s practice combined with thumbless gloves for boxing.
- For other sports, such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer, and field hockey, purchase polycarbonate eyewear that meets the standards set by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the CSA.
- If your child already has impaired vision in one eye, consider the risks for participating in the above sports more carefully, as an injury to the other eye could have a significant impact on vision.
Within the Real Kids collection, you will find several styles of sunglasses designed specifically for safety, style, and comfort while playing sports. Plus, all our shades have impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and meet the ASTM standards. Check out our full range of sporty shades to find a pair for your kids.